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What to expect from your first psychology session

What to expect from your first psychology session

Are you visiting a psychologist for the first time? Not sure what to expect? You are not alone!

When you visit a doctor because you feel sick, say with the flu, you know what to expect from your medical appointment, and you know that eventually you will feel better. But when you make an appointment to see a psychologist, do you know what will happen? You might be unsure if it will assist you in the way you hope it will. Many people don’t know what to expect and are often a bit anxious about what lies ahead.

Feeling anxious at first is normal

It is normal to feel anxious when facing a new situation. Our brains are wired to strongly consider the potential negative outcomes of a new situation, as our brain is trying to protect us from pain or discomfort. Unfortunately, our brains are not always as helpful as they set out to be. Too often, our brain’s attempt to protect us from potential pain keeps us from being able to experience the positive outcomes that could just as easily come from the new situation.

A Psychology session is essentially about problem solving

Our clinicians use their training to help you resolve the problem that brings you to see them.

Generally, at the beginning of the first session, the clinician will invite you to share what’s been happening in your life, what’s bothering you, and what are the goals you’d like to work toward together. Your clinician will listen, take notes, and ask questions. You won’t be criticised, interrupted or judged. You will be encouraged to speak with complete honesty and openness, but you won’t be forced to talk about things you don’t want to talk about (yet or at all). All discussions are kept in the strictest confidence as psychologists are bound by confidentiality (except when there are clear concerns about safety).

Over the course of sessions, your clinician will help you practice tools that may best assist you in reaching your goals, and some may give you some “homework” to complete between sessions. Clinicians often take different approaches to meet the needs of their clients, but their goal is to assist with finding solutions to the problem that is distressing you at this time in your life.

How to approach your first session with a psychologist

Remind yourself that it is normal and OK to feel unsure or anxious at first.

The anxious feeling is normal but does not have to drive your behaviour. Remind yourself that you can survive the first session and could find it starts you on a growth journey that benefits you significantly in the long term.

Be as honest as you can be.

This is easier said than done when you are speaking with someone you’ve just met but being honest with the psychologist, and with yourself, right from the outset can be very helpful to build a connection with the psychologist early on and start to process where you are at in your life at this time and what you want to get out of this process.

Keep your mind open to the positive outcomes that could come of this process.

Accessing therapy has become much more common in the general population over recent years and so many people who have sought this help have benefited from it. Try not to allow your mind to get stuck only on the discomfort that could come from talking with a psychologist; open up your lens to consider the positive things you could experience as a result of working through this process.

Value yourself enough to persist with pursuing your goals.

No matter what your mind may convince you of sometimes, you ARE worthy of a fulfilling and healthy life. If there are challenges in your life that are keeping you from moving forward in the way you desire, you deserve the time and space to work toward what you want and value.

At Young Minds

We have several clinicians that provide different services and focus on different areas of psychology. You can see all their details here on our website. If you’re not sure who may suit your specific needs best, please call us to discuss. When you book an appointment with one of our psychologists, our receptionist will also help answer any initial questions you have about the first appointment. Our rooms are also specifically designed to cater for children as well, so your child can feel comfortable and at ease too.

Please call us on (07) 3857 0074 to book an appointment with one of our Clinicians; or send us an Appointment Request here via our website and we’ll contact you as soon as possible to book a suitable time for you.

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